Monday, August 07, 2006
Formula 1 has a history of providing the BBC Sports Personality of the Year with Damon Hill winning it twice in the 90s and Mansell twice in the 80s.
And then, strikingly like the London buses, two contenders come at once. Not only Button but also Lewis Gordon Pugh. The 'Polar Bear' as he is known, for his ability to endure icy waters rather than any propensity for sh*tting next to glaciers, swam the River Thames to raise awarness of climate change (presumably when Climate Change takes grip and the polar caps melt people will no longer be able to swim the Thames, which frankly must be pretty low on the totem pole of potential dangers). A 325km challenge that took him 20 days. The Metro reports that this arduous task had to be done "wearing only Speedos, a swimming cap and goggles." Should we sympathise that he didn't have thermals on? I imagine that would be the de rigeur outift of anyone attempting to swim the channel??? Every day he swam an equivalent of half the English channel, which surely eclipses Walliams' achievement.
Although saying that there are a couple of caveats in Pugh's success, firstly he ran the first 39km as the River Thames was but a trickle and, in my favourite part of the tale, he made a brief diversion last Thursday to discuss environmental isses with the Prime Minister. Surely not a publicity stunt? And did it really occur that he met Tony "wearing only Speedos, a swimming cap and goggles?" That must have been a bit awkward.
As a creature emerges from the Thames, Tony waits at some dock:
Tony Blair: "Bit nervous about this. You know, hmmmmm...regular guy with a conscience swimming the channel - reminds me of me. You know? Normal guy and all, not that I have swam the channel; probably could though, if I could be bothered. HANG ON ONE BLOODY MINUTE is he wearing just Speedos, a swimming cap and goggles? Oh bloody hell."
So I would probalby place Pugh above Walliams. Not only his achievement better but he also had the talent and wherewithal to quickly put the PM straight on some environemntal policy. What a guy.